"Prepared, Not Scared." That is the 2019 theme for National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, to remind all of us to prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses for all types of natural disasters and other emergency situations.
Preparedness is the responsibility of an entire community. Every day, The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is making a conscious effort to encourage residents and business owners to be prepared for anything at any time. Those efforts include connecting and collaborating with our community, faith-based, business, regional, and state partners to plan; conduct training and exercises; share necessary information and resources; and encourage preparedness at every level.
This month, I urge you to take the time to evaluate your level of preparedness; learn what to do to protect yourself and your family if disaster strikes; check your emergency go kits; develop and discuss an emergency plan with your family; and sign up for Alexandria eNews alerts to receive accurate information during an emergency.
Knowing life-saving skills can also be helpful during various types of emergencies. The Fire Department, OEM, and Volunteer Alexandria will make Hands-Only CPR, Until Help Arrives training, and preparedness information readily available for you at various locations in the City throughout the month of September. Visit the City’s National Preparedness Month webpage for additional information on where to find preparedness literature and how to participate in training opportunities.
I would also like to remind you that during a disaster, it’s important to remember your neighbors and those with mobility issues. Make time to check on them and be of service to those in need when disaster strikes.
Before, during, and after a disaster, community volunteers can often play a vital role in the recovery process. If you have the ability to help others, please consider joining the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). OEM offers CERT training twice a year, and the program is open to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or owns a business in the City of Alexandria. Registration for Fall 2019 CERT training is currently open through Wednesday, October 2.
With the resources and training available to us, we can increase our level of awareness and preparedness, which can ultimately save a life in an emergency.
For additional information about emergency
preparedness and management, contact the Assistant Emergency Manager at
703.746.5266. To learn about the Fire Department’s community outreach efforts,
visit our Community Outreach Unit webpage or call the Community Outreach Coordinator
at 703.746.5217. For general, non-emergency questions or concerns, call 703.746.4444
or visit Call. Click.
- Corey Smedley
Public Information Office
The image of
the Alexandria Fire Department, and its perception in the community and
surrounding areas are of the utmost importance. The Alexandria Fire
Department’s Public Information Office oversees operations of the department’s
social media accounts, the website, and communications with local and regional
media representatives. The Public Information Office is staffed by a civilian Senior
Public Information Officer (PIO) and four sworn, on-duty PIOs. The Public
Information Office also works closely with the Community Outreach Unit.
to multi-alarm fires, major incidents in the City, and incidents where media is
present. Additionally, PIOs collaborate with the Office of Communications and
Public Information (OCPI) to notify the City Manager about certain incidents that may
impact residents and/or normal operations in the City. The Public Information
Office is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the event of
an emergency during afterhours, duty PIOs are on call from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Monday through Friday and on weekends.
Alexandria Fire Department on social media for the latest updates and information about community
The PIO can be reached at 703.746.5190 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A duty PIO can be reached during afterhours and weekends at 703.746.5195.
The Alexandria Fire Department's budget consists of the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and general fund operating budgets. The fiscal year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. The general fund is the portion of the budget that is funded by City of Alexandria tax dollars. The operating budget refers to the day-to-day operations of the department consisting of salaries, supplies, equipment and does not include the capital budget, which deals with the replacement of fire stations and other fixed facilities. Local City of Alexandria tax dollars provide 96% of the department's overall operating budget. The CIP provides funding for major capital projects such as new or renovated fire stations and heavy vehicle purchases. The charts below show more information on the Fire Department Operating Budget.
The Alexandria Fire Department has an overall operating budget of $58M. Of this, $50.2M is related to personnel costs (salaries, benefits, overtime) while $7.8M is non-personnel related (supplies, hose, ladders, personal protective gear, uniforms, maintenance of stations and vehicles, debt service on engine/ladder/medic unit purchases, etc.).
The Fire Department is constantly working to bring in State and Federal grants to help supplement City funding. Alexandria has recently been successful in receiving grants from both State and Federal sources. A brief listing of these grants includes:
- 2018 applied for $1.5M in Federal funding for the SAFER grant for engine company staffing (application pending award)
- 2018 applied for $800K in Federal funding for Assistance to Firefighters grant for paramedic training and health & safety initiatives (application pending award)
- 2017 received $1.5M in Federal funding for SAFER grant for ladder truck staffing
- 2017 received $850K in Federal funding for Assistance to Firefighters grant for paramedic training and special operations training
The 10 Year CIP also includes funding for replacement of Fire Stations and other buildings. Also included is the actual purchase of large apparatus in the CIP (debt service), repaid in the operating budget.
A brief chart is below outlining the building projects currently in the CIP for the Fire Department:
|Project/Building||Current Age (as of 2019)||Current Budgeted Cost for Replacement||Year Funding Scheduled to Begin||Project Scheduled for Completion|
|Fire Station 203||70 years||$11.9M||2015||2020|
|Fire Station 205||70 years||$11.2M||2021||2023|
|Fire Station 207||56 years||$18.2M||2025||2028|
|Burn Building||38 years||$2.1M||2022||2024|
|Fire Station 208||43 years||Not currently scheduled for replacement|
|Fire Station 206||61 years||Not currently scheduled for replacement|